The Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) , a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) honored the winners of the 2014 Library Interior Design Awards at ALA’s annual conference held in Las Vegas in June. Over 200 entries were reviewed, and many of this year’s 19 winners have a vibrant and functional design that takes into consideration that libraries are more than ever a gathering space for their community.
Library 21c, the Pikes Peak Library District’s (PPLD) latest addition, is a centralized education and experimentation hub. The new two-story Colorado Springs library is the biggest building in the district, the second-largest in Colorado, supporting about 620,000 residents. Last year, the district had 3.6 million visitors. What makes this new library unique is the wide variety of opportunities under the same roof.
Two historical barns are transformed into modern libraries. One barn sits in Cumbria, England, a county once host to William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter, and Arthur Ransome. Surrounded by the mountainous landscape of the UK’s largest national park, the traditional Cumbrian stone barn was constructed in Ambleside in 1929 by Charlotte Mason College.
To walk into the St. Helena Public Library, SC, is to become immersed in contradiction. On the one hand, it’s modern—a 21st-century library guided by a Maker space philosophy, complete with 3-D printers, an animator, recording studio, littleBits and Makey Makey kits, and more state-of-the-art technology. Seamlessly coexisting with this sleek newness is a down-home Southern warmth and natural, earthy simplicity, with architectural details that embrace links to a unique culture with connections to West Africa.
In a time when the mission of libraries is rapidly evolving, how can we craft buildings that not only endure but thrive when meeting new challenges? This question underlined the learning at LJ’s Design Institute (DI) held May 16 in Salt Lake City. Presenters and peers asked attendees to redefine how they thought about sustainability, exploring the idea in terms of conserving energy and being environmentally responsible and looking at the sustainability of a building holistically—from how comfortable patrons and employees are to how the space can change to support new ventures, some of which designers and librarians might not have imagined yet.
After completing a complicated four-plus-year construction project, the Golden State is seeking silver this time—a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for its newly renovated Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building, to be precise. The reopening celebration for the California State Library (CSL) was held in February and capped a remarkable collaborative effort led by California’s Department of General Services (DGS), landlords of the property.
Public libraries are busier and more popular with patrons than ever. Today’s library is a place for social interaction as well as quiet reading. It is a community cultural center, not simply a repository for books. It is a welcoming building with a design focus on transparency, not a series of isolated spaces. These changing operations directly affect the layout and organization of library buildings. So, libraries today must be designed to accommodate more simplified administrative operations and new staff functions.